I want Brian Hoyer to start. If he's as good as some of us think he is, he should start all 16 games. I want Johnny Manziel to sit for the season.
I understand your points, but I think you have some false assumptions. Here they are:
1. You seem to think they both have an equal footing when it comes to learning this new offense.
Here's the biggest issue I had with your argument, viz., assuming that since this is as "brand new offense to both players", that "Manziel should be getting all of the reps in camp".
The thing is, Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer are at two totally different stages in their development.
Johnny Manziel is a 21 year old rookie coming off of his second full season in college. I'm not taking away anything from his talent. In fact, I wanted Johnny Manziel more than I've wanted any QB for the Browns in recent memory.
But he isn't ready yet.
He has no NFL experience. He'll need to get bigger, faster, and stronger. He needs time to get accustomed to the NFL and to learn the ropes. Do you really want to send another Cleveland QB to the wolves like that?
Plus, what is that saying to the team? If I'm in any other position, I want to win every time I step out on the field. Why should I be comfortable with giving a new guy 'time to learn' as a starter, potentially costing us football games? Why should anyone want that when we have someone who can step in and help us win now?
That man is Brian Hoyer.
Brian Hoyer, the NFL journeyman who learned under Tom Brady. Brian Hoyer, who gave us Browns fans hope for the first time in a long time that we actually had a competent QB under center. Brian Hoyer, veteran who has earned the respect of his teammates. Brian Hoyer, who knows what it takes to win in the NFL as a QB.
I know. Brian Hoyer is not the next Peyton Manning. He knew the Browns were going to take a QB in this draft. He knows that he isn't the franchise quarterback the Browns will want for the next 10+ years. I mean, he backed up Brandon Weeden.
But he knows how to win now. I'd rather know that we have a chance every Sunday under Hoyer than simply accept the growing pains Johnny Manziel will have if we throw him in right away.
Most of all, he's proven he knows how to play Quarterback. And in this town, that goes a long way.
2. You presuppose there will be antagonism between Hoyer and Manziel.
But this time it will be different.
Brian Hoyer has shown nothing but professionalism since being taken in by the Browns. He learned under Tom Brady and knows what that relationship is like. Brian Hoyer has shown us he deserves an opportunity to start in this league, but isn't so ignorant that he thinks a franchise will go all-in with him. He's also been around more than a lot of prior quarterbacks we've had on our roster.
And plus, the coaching, the management, and even the team vibe feels completely different. Everything tells me that this team will be professional, team-orientated, and smart. We need to give them a chance.
3. A QB Controversy will exist and destroy us all.
You know what cures all QB controversies? Winning.
If Hoyer starts and we go 0-8, then we have a decision to make.
But if the Browns with Hoyer under center start 5-3 for the season? None of this will matter. Hoyer will play out the season, Johnny Manziel will be groomed for the future, and no one will care.
Because winning solves everything.